Where’s the Obama speech police?
Saturday Night Live recently featured a skit that mocked Jesus, depicting Jesus slaying with a sword Roman soldiers. “He’s risen from the dead,” said the narrator, “and he’s preaching anything but forgiveness.” Apparently it caused enough of a hoopla to prompt Sears and JC Penney to pull their advertising from the show.
Last year the Obama administration strongly supported a U.N. Human Rights resolution (# 16/18) that “deplores” and “condemns” advocacy of “religious hatred”.
At a U.N. “High-Level Meeting on Combating Religious Intolerance” last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration would use “some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” against those who do “what we abhor.”
So did the Obama administration use old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming against Saturday Night Live? Did it bring peer pressure or shame upon artist Andres Serrano or those who exhibited his “Piss Christ” in New York City last fall?
No, but it certainly did against the filmmaker of “Innocence of Muslims” – the amateurish YouTube video that the administration erroneously claimed sparked the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which three Americans including the ambassador died. The filmmaker was sentenced to a year in jail. To be sure, the charges didn’t pertain to the content of the film, but it’s doubtful he would have been arrested if not for the film.
In other words, such shame and peer pressure is only reserved for those who criticize Islam.
This is certainly not to suggest that the Obama administration should go after those who mock or criticize Christianity. Instead, it should refrain from condemning the mocking of any religion, be it Christianity or Islam – because apart from implicit restrictions on freedom of speech, it could lead to explicit ones. Condemnation should come from those outside of government.
So here we have a situation where the U.S. government vows to speak out against the mocking of Islam, yet provided funds and sponsorship for the mocking of Christianity (when the National Endowment of the Arts sponsored the “Piss Christ” exhibition).
When it comes to matters involving religion, the Obama administration is not an equal-opportunity shamer.